The Parish Pump for June 2004 Vicars Letter Dear Friends, it is always good to receive support, encouragement and help - and you will see from this letter and the various notices after it, that there has been plenty of this about, praise God! Many of my friends (often the same ones who thought I must have been 'mad' to have taken on a Benefice of 12 churches - see my first ever letter!), have seen my despondency at deciding to leave and realised they needed to give me some comfort. 'Richard', they say, 'do not feel bad about leaving. It is often the case that when a Benefice has had a Vicar for a long time, the next incumbent does not stay long, but sets in motion lots of changes which help prepare the ground for the successful ministry of his successor. Feel good about that, and all that you have done that will help your successor - for it is the life of the parishes, and their ability to work together, to care for each other and to worship God and be moulded in the gentle image of the Good Shepherd that matter - not you!' This, together with some words of Bishop Colin (listing all the things that have been achieved in such a short time) have helped - and helped me enjoy all the excitement around about who my successor might be. One of the things that Liz Savage , Doreen Hart and I (and others ) had been hoping to develop was this very magazine, especially ways in which it might reach out more into the non-churchgoing element of our readership. As you will see from the editorial, there is now a new editorial team (although Doreen is kindly stayi ng on for the handing over process through June 8 July) and I am very grateful for Richard Martin being willing to take on this challenge and to develop the magazine, in many cases along lines that Liz and I had already thought about, although he has plenty of ideas of his own too! I hope that Liz too will realise that she has helped bring about something that is good and will develop even without her at the helm, in much the same way as I must think about my parishes. Liz and I had what I thought to be a particularly good working relationship and I am very very grateful for all that she has done for the 'PP'! Richard is working on a new look for the magazine for August - which will have my last letter. I have also been much encouraged by many people saying, 'Oh! I did not realise that I was meant to send a f5 donation to help with the magazine. I will send my contribution to my churchwarden (or treasurer) as soon as I can!' Indeed there has been one couple (who must remain anonymous) who are not Churchgoers at all (indeed I believe that they are of another faith), but who so approve of what we are doing and want to see it continue that they have sent in a cheque for ten times that amount. Richard Martin has said that he has always rather approved of my realisation that there might be people reading who are not churchgoers, by my mentioning an occasional book that I have enjoyed: perhaps somebody might like to write a book column? I will end by mentioning the book that I am reading at the moment. I always like coincidences - and just a few weeks ago a parishioner in Langford said that she thought I would very much enjoy reading 'Tears of the Giraffe' by Alexander McCall Smith. I have not yet had time to find it. On my last visit to Uppingham (to be told that I would be teaching about Henry VIII and Wolsey as well as Philosophy of Religion in the Vith Form!), after dinner with the Deputy Head (who went to Birkenhead High School for Girls, where both my sisters went - as well as another parishioner, this time in Filkins), she handed to me a book, saying 'Read this - you will love it!.' It was 'The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' by - you've guessed it - Alexander McCall Smith. And I am loving it - I recommend it to you all. Your brother in the risen Christ, Richard PS. Please note the exceptionally early deadline dat e YOUTH WORSHIP As you will see from the list of services we are continuing with our Youth Worship, an informal celebration of Holy Communion (what I would call Mass) which is particularly for young people. Young people we have tended to define as c 10-20 years old - but there was one celebration when a whole family (Mum & Dad too) came with children much younger than 10 - and that was a very happy occasion! We will not be able to remind you every time - but it will always be the evening before the Benefice Service at 5.30pm and at Shilton - and Neville and Liz are going to make sure that this will continue through any 'interregnum' (the term commonly, albeit incorrectly, used about the time when a parish is without a vicar. It is incorrect, because the Vicar is not a King and he certainly does not rule: as you can see I am cut out to be a teacher!). Neville & Liz will take the services, but I know that they are going to be supported in this by Barbara Browne (01367 252772) and Jane Brylewski (01993 822479) - so do feel free to contact them too. The next three 'masses' are ones that I will celebrate on June 5th, July 3rd and July 31st. As has been my custom, they might well have a 'high church' feel to them - so I would be really pleased if one of the young was prepared to learn how to use incense and swing a thurible - but we'll need some practice! We also plan to have a PARTY after the July 3rd Mass, as most of the young will have finished their exams by then - don't forget to pray for them! RKH FAMILY SERVICES AND A SPECIAL DAY - 'CELEBRATION PRAISE' ON OCTOBER 23RD The celebrant (or leader) of a service of Holy Communion must be a priest, who holds a licence from the Bishop, or some other authority, such as 'permission to officiate'. Under certain circumstances, a churchwarden may lead (or 'take') Matins or Evensong. Otherwise the person who leads in an act of worship is meant to be licensed by the Bishop - that is why we have something called 'licensed lay ministry', and we are always grateful to the Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) who occasionally take services in our Benefice (their initial are explained under the list of services). The Bishop has given his permission for Marjorie Barstow to take some of our 'Family Services' - and she with me, Neville 8 Liz has met with a group of people who are sharing that ministry with her, because the time is approaching when Marjorie would like to 'retire'! It is important that you know that this group of people has been meeting and will continue to meet for mutual support and for guidance by the clergy: if you can think of anyone who might be part of that group, please contact Marjorie or one of the clergy. They meet next on June 25th. There is going to be a special day precisely on worship on Saturday October 23rd at the Marlborough School in Woodstock, organised by the oxford Archdeaconry and called 'CELEBRATION PRAISE'. This is exactly the sort of thing that this group would benefit from and I am encouraging them and anybody else to attend: most of our 12 churches have put up posters about this, but there will be details in 'The Door' and on the Diocesan Website: www.oxford.anglican.org THE COWBOY'S PRAYER From Roy Roger's gravestone, Apple Valley, California Oh Lord, I reckon I'm not much just by myself. I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do. But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high, Help me to ride it straight the whole way through. And when in the falling dusk I get the final call, I do not care how many flowers they send- Above all else, the happiest trail would be For You to say to me, "Let's ride, My friend." FAREWELL In the long and honourable tradition of parishioners to burst into verse at every opportunity, here is the Bard of Kencot on the passing (geographical only! of the Vicar Boyish looks and a ready smile, An open face, quite free from guile. Not quite short, yet not too tall, A product of St Stephen's Hall. Bows to the cross as a matter of course, But never rhymes it with a horse. A down-to-earth bloke who's rather high; Not mine to pose the question why. Rather given to tinkling bells And the noxious fumes of holy smells. Peering through the flickering light of ecclesiastical candlelight. Listening to what folks have to say; Absolving those who've gone astray. Never stands on his dignity: A rather rare quality, it seems to me. Easy to talk to: now there's a gift For giving spirits a bit of a lift. A sense of humour that bubbles through Whenever he stops to chat to you. His vowels are no longer flat, But he's a northerner for all that. "Across the water," as we say, Is still a Scouser any day, And his alma mater I used to know When I played hooker in my school's front row. Now, so soon, he's on his way And we shall live to rue the day, For we shall tread so many a mile To find a priest with Richard's smile. FROM LIZ JOHNSON As I settle into the benefice, people are asking me which days I am working. My license is for Sunday plus two other days, and I have decided to spread those two days over three, which makes things more flexible. So I am gradually developing a pattern of working on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (or Saturdays if I am taking weddings). I have my granddaughter here every Thursday, and I hope to take Tuesday as a regular day off. Many thanks to those of you who have insisted that I must not do too much, especially during the interregnum; I have taken your concern to heart! But please don't worry about contacting me on a 'wrong' day - the answerphone is always on, and you are welcome to call and leave a message if I am not available. Liz Johnson LENT LUNCHES Following the Lent Lunches f395 was collected and we sent £200 to both Biblelands and to Christian Aid. I was mystified to know what Biblelands did, and thought that many might now like to know. They do work in the original Bibleland, which is today parts of Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt; they provide "Christian Love in Action" in the areas of Education, Social Care, Medical Care and Vocational and Adult Training in this war torn area. They have been doing this for 150 years. One of their travelling fundraisers quoted a lovely and memorable sentence: "In my travels, I have found the old saying to be true - that in the kingdom of God, there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet." They can be found at www.Biblelands.org.uk Christian Aid in their letter of thanks mentioned work done in Burkina Faso, which is rated the third poorest nation in the world. Marks go to anyone who has heard of this nation and higher marks if you can pin it on the map of the world. Chris Fox Benefice Treasurer. CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP We meet again on Wednesday June 2nd at 2.45pm in the Filkins Methodist Chapel schoolroom. Our speaker on this occasion will be The Rev Michael Gillyead, who is a retired Methodist Minister living in Witney. We are always happy to welcome new-comers and visitors to our meetings. CHOIR June 13th at 4.00pm: our visit to the cathedral and the home of Archdeacon John Morrison. Please let Wanda know if you would like to share transport with anyone. our June rehearsals are at Kencot Village Hall on the 16th, 23rd and 30th (not forgetting the beforeservice preparation at Kelmscott on June 6th). Keep a song in your heart! Wanda 01993 700765 From The Registers HOLY BAPTISM May 23rd at Charlotte Elizabeth Broadwell White Alexandra Caroline Hatcher May 30th at Jessica Todd Langford May 30th at Rory Joseph Jones Alvescot .. HOLY BURIAL April 30th Reginald John Colson aged 81years of Shilton Private Cremation at Kingsdown Crematorium followed by Service of Thanksgiving at Shilton PARISH PUMP As Richard has trailed above, Liz Savage has completed the monumental task of combining The Broadshire Link and The Signpost. The Parish Pump is happily gurgling away, and we all thank Liz and her team for their efforts. The new editorial team is working on further changes over the coming months, and welcomes all ideas, contributions, letters, advertisements and criticism (good or bad, and your E5 donations! Ed) either through your village co-respondents or directly to email@example.com. Please copy all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org DEADLINE The deadline for all copy for the July issue of Parish Pump is (exceptionally) June 8th. Thereafter it will be the 9th of every month. RJM (Tel. 01367 860660) VILLAGES ON THE WEB Alvescot www.alvescot.com Black www.blackbourton.com Bourton Shilton www.shilton.org other local www.oxl8.com villages Parish Pump is available on-line through these sites. You can have your own copy emailed directly to you from David Oakey (email: email@example.com) Alvescot Church Wardens f S Peter's Mrs. Sue Cave 01993 846696 Mr. Peter Bagnaf 01993 842238 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Mrs. Pam Barling FETE The fete is on June 19th, so come and have a good afternoon, and if you want to take photographs beside Jenson Button's F1 Car, remember to bring your camera! As ever, there is lots to do, see and enjoy, so come along, join in the fun of the afternoon and help raise funds for the village. Collectors will be visiting you soon for cakes, plants, bottles etc and to sell raffle tickets (first prize £100) so please be generous. The Fete opens at 2.00pm on the Playing Field, and there is a prize for the Lucky Programme. FUTURE EVENTS September 4th WI Village Show October 9th Village Hall Quiz December loth Oxford Touring Theatre's "Noah's Ark" GARAGE SALE Saturday June 26th from 2.OOpm to 3.00pm at Shill House (the house with the purple tree). Books (lots of gardening books, including many new ones), furniture and bric -a- brac. Half proceeds to St Peter's School, Alvescot. Please do not park in the drive. ST. PETER'S C OF E (VA) INFANTS' SCHOOL It is the time of year when our Year 2 children have been taking their Statutory Assessment Tests (SAT's) and once again it is with an enormous sense of pride that we, at St Peter's, celebrate the way in which they have approached these tests. The self-confidence, self-knowledge and the ability to apply themselves, even when faced with the most challenging of tasks, that these six and seven year olds have shown is truly remarkable. The strength of character that each individual child has shown and the support and encouragement that they have provided for each other during this time encompasses all that we value in the education that we provide for the children at St Peter's. With the tests behind us we can now look forward to what the remainder of the year holds in store for us. All the children have been enjoying the wonderful sunshine and making the most of the opportunity to be outside! Dudley and Peter, a pair of parrots from the Cotswold Wildlife Park joined our assembly this month to celebrate World Parrot Day on May 31st and all the children have been given tickets for entry into the park on this day. All funds raised on the day will go towards saving the parrots' natural habitats. On Friday May 28th the school will be raising money for hearing dogs for deaf people by celebrating 'Togs for Dogs' day. All the children will be invited to wear non -school uniform and make a donation of a £1. A school governor, Mary Neale and her dog, Hattie will be attending a school assembly to celebrate the event. The whole school will be taking part in our Partnership Music Festival at Bampton Primary School on 15th June, singing 'Caterpillar Boogie and Tadpole Rag' and the children of St Peter's will open the village fete on Saturday 19th June with these songs. We look forward to seeing you there! Black Bourton Church Wardens f S Mary's Mrs Marjorie Worth 01993 842477 Mr. Frank Stewart-Wood 01993 842397 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Marjorie Worth 01993 842477 Items for inclusion in Parish Pump Jackie Garrett 01993 843746 email: firstname.lastname@example.org FLOWER FESTIVAL WEEKEND St Mary's Church, Black Bourton will be open all weekend from Friday July 16th to Sunday July 18th for our flower Festival. Demonstration theme 'Of Heaven and Earth'. There will be a flower demonstration by Jane Belcher on Friday July 16th at 7.30pm. Tickets at f5, which include first glass of wine and nibbles, are availa ble from Christine Pope 01993 845998 and Doreen Hart 01993 844124. On Saturday 17th there will be a Coffee Morning 10.00am - Midday with plant and cake stalls. The Festival will end on Sunday evening at 6.00pm with 'Songs of Praise'. Please come and join us and visit our lovely Church. FETE The Fete will be on Sunday September 12th at the Play Park Broadwell Church Wardens of SS Peter & PauPs Mr Roger Goodenough 01367 860326 Mr Jack Auger 01367 860566 PARISH PUMP CORRESPONDENT Lt Col John Barstow (Kencot) • RIDE Fr STRIDE SEPTEMBER 2003 &2004 For Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust The total raised last year in our Deanery was almost £100,000. Unfortunately, we didn't have any riders or striders Last year from our village but hope we can do better this year? The date is SATURDAY 11th SEPTEMBER. Please make a note in your diary and help if you can - get your bikes oiled, tyres pumped up, horses exercised or your walking shoes on and more importantly your sponsors lined up. It is a much needed way of raising money for the fabric of our Church. Mary Pescod Broughton-Cum-Filkins 1r Church Wardens f S Peter's Mr. Jim Cover 01367 860302 Mr. Richard Greenwood 01367860870 FIlKINS CHURCH FLOWERS June 6th 8 13th Mrs Cross June 20th 8 27th Mrs Wise ROSTER VOLUNTARY CAR TO SURGERIES FOR SERVICE June 1st Dr Squire` 860337 June 3rd Dr Squire 860337 June 8th Mrs Morley 860420 June Little Col 860312 10th Barstow June Mr Coleman 860571 15th June Mrs Godfrey 860498 17th June Mrs Neville- 860329 22nd Rolfe June Mrs Lauzier 860644 24th June Mr Woodford 860319 29th July 1st Mr Woodford 860319 July 6th Mrs Higham 860197 luly 8th Lady Cripps 860209 Denotes change General Contacts for Surgery Service and Hospital Appointments: Mr Tony Woodford 860319 and Mrs Assiter 860545 If neither is available to answer queries, Lady Cripps 860209 will help .. PATRONAL FESTIVAL You think you know Filkins? Come and discover the intricacies of Smocks and Smocking, Working with Wood, and Filkins Stone at the Swinford Museum. Take part in the British Legion's Poppy Hunt around the village and visit St Peter's Church for Wedding Memories: A glittering display of Wedding Gowns and Christening Robes from dating back to 1899. Teas available on the lawn. Sunday June 27th from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. "A little light Nostalgia in a lovely setting" FILM NIGHT 7.30pm, Tuesday June loth in filkins Village Hall - come and see " Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World" starring Russell Crowe. Only £2.50 (on the door). FIlKINS THEATRE Children's DIY Drama Day Saturday October 9th 10.00am-4.00pm Calling all Wannabe's! Try out your hand with: producing, directing, lighting, sound effects, special effects, makeup, publicity and drama. This is your chance to see what Filkins Children's Theatre can offer and you get to do it all yourselves! (Our adult experts in the above will be available on standby, to help, advise and encourage.) Who can do it? Anyone 5 years and over How much is it? Just £3 per child How do I reserve a place? Contact Pat Scott 01993 846255 or Pam Assiter 01367 860545 Book early to avoid disappointment CONQUERING HEROS AND HEROIC CONKS Appletree Theatre will once again bring rusbustious, live theatre to the Courtyard at Cotswold Woollen Weavers with a production of Cyrano De Bergerac. 7.30pm on Saturday July 31st and 7.30pm Sunday August 1st. Come and revel in love, death, and swash-buckling for £7 (adults) and £2 (children). Telephone 01367 860491 and book your tickets now. FIlKINS FESTIVAL June 20th Filkins Feast June 27th Patronal Festival July 3rd Summer Ball July 10th Gabriel and the Bear July 10th Inquisition Quiz July 11th Swimming Gala July 17th Filkins Theatre Production July 18th Car Treasure Hunt July 24th Evening Street Party Closing service at St Peter's July 25th Church For more information, contact David Clifton (01367 860648 or email email@example.com ) or Mary Bohm (01367 860161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) PARISH COUNCIL The agenda and minutes of Council meetings are displayed on the village notice boards, and at the Post Office. A more comprehensive file of information is available in the coffee shop at Cotswold Woollen Weavers (Mondays to Saturday 10.00am - 6.00pm and Sundays 2.00pm - 6.00pm). Holwell Church Wardens of S Mary's Mr Reggie Heyworth 01993 824193 Dr. Jane Brylewski 01993 822479 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Mr Reggie Heyworth 01993 824193 No news this month Kelmscott Church Wardens of S. George's Mrs Ellie Mau han 01367252220 ' Mrs. /eon Dufty 01367252270 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Mrs Ellie Maughan 01367 252220 CHURCH BRASS & FLOWERS Emma Moore GARDENS OPEN Sunday June 20th - 2.00pm-5.00pm - teas will be provided in the Village Hall and there will be plants and crafts for sale also. All proceeds will go towards fund -raising for the village. TUMBLE SALE Saturday June 19th - 2.00pm at No 1 Council House, Kelmscott in aid of local Cancer Hospices. Stalls to include jumble, books, brie a brat etc. If you wish to donate any items please call Mrs Hatton on 01367 252803. FOR THOSE EXTRA GUESTS! Self-contained B & B accommodation in quiet garden near church in Kelmscott: All on ground level with own patio, table and chairs. Sleeps two in large room with easy chairs. Own bathroom and kitchen counter, 'fridge and microwave. Tel: 01367 252270 Kencot Church Wardens of S George's Miss Helen Squire 01367860337 Mr Jonathan Fyson 01367860223 PARISH PUMP CORRESPONDENT Lt Col John Bar stow 14 CHURCH FLOWERS June 5th Mrs Eustace June 12th & 19th Mrs Robins June 26th & July 3rd Mrs Summers : Langford Church Wardens f S Matthew's Mr Richard Kirby 01367 860205 Mr David Range 01367 860314 CHURCH FLOWERS June 6th Mrs. D Lowden June 13th 8 20th Mrs. C Johnston June 27th Mrs. J Pitkin CHURCH CLEANING Chancel and Porch Mrs. M Webb Nave Mrs. C Macdonald 8 Mrs. J. Pitkin Brass Mrs J Pitkin LANGFORD LADIES Our small gathering welcomed Mrs. Dorothy Wise our speaker for May, who gave us a very interesting talk entitled "Introducing William". It all started when Mrs. Wise found an engraving in her house which said "William May 6th 1763", from this she was able to trace a family history which was published in Horse 8 Hound. A diary was given from the son "William", (found in Middle House), which has some wonderful writings of the time. Details of seeing Queen Victoria's 18th birthday and trips to the country houses from London are just a few of the items of interest. The most recent publication is available from the Red Lion Bookshop, Burford, and is entitled "William Taylor: Footman". The lucky raffle winners were Mrs. D. Wise, Sarah Templeman, Sue Herbert, Cherry MacDonald and Jane Stevens. Our meeting next month will be on June 10th, but will be held at St. Christopher's School due to the polling station being at the Village Hall. We will start at the usual time of 7.30pm. Ann will be bringing along her dog, talking about the Guide dogs for the Blind, and also bringing along some items to sell. GARDENS OPEN DAY On Sunday June 6th, between 2.OOpm and 6.00pm, twenty gardens will be open under the National Gardens Scheme. Entry is E4 and children free! Added attractions include a flower festival in St Matthew's Church, teas, plant stall and produce stall. All proceeds from these to St. Matthew's Church. LANGFORD COMMUNITY FETE Come and join us for a great family day organised by the Church, Hall & School on Saturday june 26th at St. Christopher's School, Langford. Official opening by our surprise guest at 2pm. Fete open from 2pm to 5pm. Free Entry. Come and watch the dancing and marshall arts, listen to the band and enjoy all the traditional stalls: Wellie Wanging, Face Painting, Plants, Cakes, Lucky Dip, Treasure Hunt, Duck Game, Tog of War and Raffle. Decorated garden plate, vegetable animals competitions and many more fantastic things to do. Call the school for more information on 01367 860318 ST CHRISTOPHER'S SCHOOL Everyone has been trying especially hard this month at St Christopher's. All the children have been striving to do their best during SATS week. Now everyone is glad it is over, just in time for the sun coming out! This month our new all weather pitch has been opened and is in use. The children are very eager to play on it. It has already seen numerous games of football and been used during hockey club. It will prove an excellent asset to the school. On the April 26th St Christopher's took part in the schools cross country running competition at Cokethorpe School. It was an excellent outing where all the children involved had fun. We were able to take a number of children from each year. We had some very good results from a number of children and everyone made sure they gave 100% Last months tag rugby competition held at Witney rugby club was cancelled because of poor weather conditions. That tournament will now be held on the May 27th. We made use of the extra time by practising especially hard, so hopefully we will win the tournament. in class 4 the children have begun to consider the concept of sacred texts and what specific holy books mean to each religion. They have begun by creating an acrostic poem of the word sacred. Below is one poem written by William Findlay Wilson. Sacred statue here enshrined, Around here to be praised by mankind, Christians here praising God, Rightly come to the sacred place, Evermore people come here Down to church, the bells we hear. Little Faringdon a urch Wardens of S Ma rgaret's Mr. George Ponsonby 01367252278 Miss Esme Morgan 01367252208 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Barbara Browne 01367 252772 Email: Johnson Browne@compuserve.com THE CHURCH LUNCH This will be on Sunday, July 18th, at Little Faringdon Mill. This year's summer lunch is to be hosted by Mr and Mrs John Taylor. More details to follow, but please put this date in your diaries now! We were painting the church steeple grey, When the wind blew our brushes away. We said to the pastor, "We've had a disaster!" He calmly replied, "Let us spray." Shilton Church Wardens of Ho(y Rood Mr John Price 01993 847039 Mr David Roberts 01993 841194 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Lorna Walker Email: email@example.com FAREWELL TO THE VICAR An invitation is extended to all residents of Shilton Parish to attend a leaving party for Father Richard at 6.OOpm on Saturday June 26th in the garden of Johnson's Farm, Shilton. (Undercover in the dutch barn if wet). EASTER EVENTS The Easter Events were well attended and raised E210 for the Old School. The photo chosen as overall favourite was taken by an Australian visitor to Shilton, David Ellis. Copies of his photo, and the four chosen as the most popular candidates for a new calendar or Christmas card, will be displayed in the old school for everyone to see. BARN DANCE The next event is the Barn Dance/Ceilidh on Saturday, May 15th, at Johnson's Farm from 8.00pm until midnight. Tickets in advance only. Numbers are limited, so order your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Adult ticket E8, Adult plus up to 4 children E12, Two Adults plus up to 4 children E20 (from David Cuthbertson, OSMC, Honeystone Cottage, Ladburn Lane, Shilton, 0X18 4AJ.01993 846009). Prizes for best costumes. Light refreshments on sale during the evening but bring your own booze. D-DAY DINNER To commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and raise some funds for charity, we are holding a D-Day dinner on Saturday, June 5h, in the Old School. Three courses (some authentic wartime recipes!) for E10 per person. Again, numbers will be limited so to reserve a place contact David Cuthbertson as above. OPEN GARDENS And a reminder that our Open Gardens day will be on Sunday, June 13th, 1.OOpm to 6.OOpm FORTHCOMING EVENTS August 22nd Fete September Wine 8 Cheese 18th party October 16th Quiz Night November Bonfire and 5th fireworks Shirley Cuthbertson HISTORY GROUP The meeting on May 14th was at Shilton House. Tom & Nicola Barry invited us to view the house now that it has been gutted prior to complete restoration. Julia Melvyn MA was also invited along and gave expert information on the construction of this grand old house. We are very grateful to Tom and Nicola Barry and Julia Melvyn for making this such a pleasant and informative evening. The next meeting will be on June 11th and will be walk around Alvescot. Martin Way will be our guide. We will meet at Alvescot Church at 7.00pm. Mervyn Whitfield Westwell Church Wardens of S Mary's Mrs. Annette Ba ldwin 01993 823432 Mr Chris Fox 01993 823131 PARISH PUMP REPRESENTATIVE Mr Chris Fox 01993 823131 No news this month Nature Notes by David Roberts What an explosion of bloom there has been over the last week to ten days (May 18th today). Never can I remember the May bushes being so crammed with blossom on every branch. Complemented by cow parsley at ground level with its distinctive smell. In fact cow parsley has had many local names over the years - kek, adder's meat, devil's meat, bad man's oatmeal and the most picturesque one - Queen Anne's lace. Bluebell's have been in profusion and blossom in the gardens has not been hit by frost this year so the wisteria is at its best now. Everywhere is green with new growth and the grass has been romping away over the last week of warm weather following on from a wet spell as I know for my cost after returning from a week on the isle of Arran, off the West Coast of Scotland where the weather was a lot kinder. April 28th saw the arrival of the first swifts in Shilton but were greeted by cold wet weather. As I mentioned the first week of May we spent on the wonderful picturesque Scottish Island of Arran (not to be confused with the Aran islands, of wool jumper fame, off the west coast of Ireland). Arran is Scotland in miniature covering an area of 165 square miles. The highest peak is Goatfell at 2,866 feet and it took us five hours up and back. It was while climbing this that I saw my first cuckoo of the year which flew back and forth over our heads proclaiming its presence before we left the trees behind and struck out over rock. Another vociferous bird on the heights was a pair of ravens making a deep throated cronking sound. A glossy black bird, the largest passerine and bigger than our buzzard. The extra length of a raven neck allows it to carry a large amount of food perhaps a long distance. A raven carrying a full load of food to its young can be told afar off, so conspicuous is the bagged throat. I have seen one flying over Shilton. Some raven's nests are added to year after year and have reached six feet high. Sightings of golden eagles, great northern, black throated and red throated divers were some of the birds which made up the 104 species we saw on this memorable island. On our return to Shilton the first sound to great us was the scream of a formation of swifts making a fly past over the church. David Roberts THOSE WERE THE DAYS! Steam buffs John and Gwen Bamford remind us that the (occasional!) bus was not always the only available public transport. She has found a timetable from 1938 for the Fairford to Paddington railway line, stopping at Alvescott, Kelmscott and Langford. About 6 trains each way for 17s 8d (go on work it out!) return from Alvescott to Paddington. The timetable also records the populations of the villages as Alvescott 278, Kelmscott 114 and Langford 268. SONGS OF PRAISE BBC's Songs of Praise will be visiting Blenheim Palace on Sunday August 1st. Admission is Free, but you must book tickets in advance. Telephone 0161 244 3269 MP'S SURGERIES ADVICE June 18th The Corner House, Charlbury July 16th Bartholomew Rooms, Eynsham The are 5.00pm to 7.00pm. For appointments surgeries telephone 01993 702302 OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS There is to be a review of the financial management systems in the light of concerns about accounting relating to a small section of the council's budget. Treasures that are normally not on view will be among the attractions at special open days at the County Council's Museums Resource Centre at Standlake. Tours must be booked in advance and will be on June 3rd, July 1st, September 2nd and October 7th. To book telephone 01865 300972. The County Council has signed a contract to provide a real-time bus information for the County. vv DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS The Council has just been given f 13 million for the provision of affordable homes (21 in Carterton) Re-cycling! Despite teething troubles, in the first week of the new scheme over 300 tons of material was collected, compared with an average of 96 tons previously. Aerosols, plastics, household batteries, cardboard, paper, textiles, glass, cans and foil can all be put in your black boxes. Discounted home composters are again available. For details, telephone 0870 8443006. Cogges Manor Farm is now open for the new season - details on www.cogges.org or telephone 01993 772602. A cultural weekend is to be organized on September 11th & 12th. WERE YOU THERE? Calling ex-service personnel who served in the Suez Canal Zone for at least four months between 1949 and 1954. You have recently become entitled to the General Service Medal. Details can be obtained from the Area Representative of The Suez Veterans Association, Percy Miles, on 01793 851038. AND FINALLY.. One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to God, "Lord, I know you've created me and have provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, but I'm really lonely, and sick to death of apples." "Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you." "What's a 'man', Lord?" "This man will be an aggressive creature, with an enormous ego and an inability to empathize or listen to you properly. But, he'll be bigger and faster and more muscular than you, so he'll be really good at fighting and kicking a ball about and hunting fleet-footed ruminants to provide more interesting food." "Sounds great!" says Eve, only a bit doubtfully. "Oh, but you can only have him on one condition." "What's that, Lord?" "You'll have to let him believe that I made him first."
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